2015 Edition of the Park to Park Half Marathon
This is my usual race wrap-up post. This was my fourth and at least at the moment, my final Park to Park 1/2 Marathon. That is contingent on where we might move and where God is leading us. This race was best described as 12 miles of torture with 1.1 mile (the last 1.1 miles) of pure running joy. This was not run under optimal conditions except for the no wind, cloudy, 40 + degree day. Great conditions for running a race fast. The odd thing during this race is that we encountered sleet – in Virginia — on the last Saturday of April – that was really weird.
For those of you not familiar with the Park to Park, it is a race organized by the Waynesboro Parks and Recreation Department. They have a whole racing series that begins in February and ends in October and it is called Run the Valley. They do a great job of organizing these races. The Park to Park is their longest offering. It is a 13 mile race – that seems mostly uphill, but run in the beautiful rolling countryside and pastureland of southern Augusta County.
Last year the unique event was the strong headwind on the last three miles of the course. Thankfully we had none of that this year. I will admit that I have struggled in my training this year and struggled quite a bit keeping the winter pounds off. As I entered this race I had some hip issues and my chronic ankle issues. If you’ve been following my posts, you know that most of my training runs have been between 9:05/mile and 9:45/mile paces. Most of the race put me squarely in the 9:25/mile pace. I’ll split it out at the bottom. Like I’ve already mentioned the first 12 miles were tough. But as I neared the 12 mile marker, I felt something – here – late in the race – I could feel my legs getting stronger and faster – it was hard to believe that I had struggled through an hour and 45 minutes and now things were coming into place. I pushed hard and in that last 1.1 miles I was able to run an 8:47 pace – I will take that. I don’t have any idea as to what caused that last push or second wind – perhaps the GU gel that I took at mile 9 that was generously provided by the race sponsors.
The real key to this race was perseverance – in the training and in the running – I just put myself into a place that when my body was ready to respond it did. Here are the splits for this race: